Bengaluru: Due to fund crunch, India’s first private moon mission which is scheduled for launch by TeamIndus has run into difficulties.
TeamIndus is a Bengaluru-based space startup, and it has been one of the five finalists for $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE. It has signed contract with Antrix Corporation, the commercial arm of the ISRO in December 2016.
According to the news reported in Deccan Herald, this contract has been cancelled though there was no official confirmation as of now.
March 31, 2018 was the deadline to complete the lunar mission, and according to the-ken.com, a business website, the contract was for a chartered launch on Polar Satellite Launching Vehicle, ISRO’s rocket.
For the mission to be accomplished, a total of about Rs 450 crore was required, however, only Rs 225 crore were raised. Efforts were on to raise the remaining amount through sponsors.
Another issue in mission accomplishment was Hardware procurement.
TeamIndus had last year won $1 million Milestone Prize for landing technology and also stood among top five teams that entered the Google Lunar XPRIZE.
The other teams that were in race include Israeli non-profit firm SpaceIL, Japanese space robotics expert Hakuto, American firm Moon Express and Synergy Moon, an international collaboration of space enthusiasts.